Would you walk into an interview room, wearing flip-flops, looking as disheveled as you were when you got out of bed this morning? Would you talk to your boss the way you speak with your best buddy? Would you like your colleagues to see the ‘wild’ side of you? Why not? Because doing that would be ‘unprofessional’. Similarly, how you present yourself on LinkedIn, world’s largest professional networking website, makes a huge difference to your online reputation! The repercussions of your grave errors on LinkedIn cannot be neglected.
7 mistakes that could kill your reputation on LinkedIn:
1. Image damage: Assume that there are five more people who are namesake on this professional networking site! Isn’t it important that your photograph helps people recognize you in one go? It’s important you upload a good quality recent picture of yours.
But, do remember that you are presenting your professional side. Inappropriate profile images – improper attire or expressions, or a picture that’s not you – may just say you’re tad unprofessional.
2. Stingy with summary: It’s not only when your career is at its nascent stage that you need to talk clearly about your professional experience. A comprehensive summary of your work history and your future career goals could establish you as a thought leader. This summary helps in a quicker assessment of your professional capabilities, setting you apart from your peers and competitors.
3. Historically irrelevant: Not providing a full career history may work against you. Be as specific as you want about all the jobs you performed during your entire career. This gives a better understanding of all your work skills & expertise. If you ignore details, the reader stays in the dark about your professional experience. If your profile doesn’t impress someone, it won’t enhance your professional reputation. And quite frequently, most professional decisions are based upon reputation and experience.
4. Frivolous status updates: LinkedIn status updates are different from the ones you post on other social media platforms. Your status updates must put out a favourable impression on your professional network. If you don’t take LinkedIn status updates seriously, your professional network would resent you populating their newsfeed. The last thing you would want is to come across not-so-serious to people who could make a difference to your career.
5. Unconnected connection request: A LinkedIn connection is not your regular Facebook friend. When you send a connection request, introduce yourself formally and state why you would like to join their network – even if you already know them! If drafted well, your LinkedIn invitation message could go a long way in strengthening the professional relationship with your connection.
6. Ignoring the power of groups: A lot of networking happens in LinkedIn groups. One can get an insider view of a particular industry through discussions. If you’re not capitalizing on the advantages of groups, you might let some career opportunities slip away.
7. Not caring about privacy: You wouldn’t want your current employer to know you are looking out for a job. That’s when you need to use the privacy settings on LinkedIn. Likewise, other activities you engage on LinkedIn have to be selectively displayed to others. Ignoring the privacy settings could invite some serious damage to your career.
LinkedIn is a great social media tool for professional networking. If you are careful about not committing these mistakes, you could come across dignified within your professional network on the site.